Friday, 25 September 2015

Top Tips: Perfect Sourdough

Kelvin Ellam, Technical Baker at Marriage’s Flour gives his 10 Steps to creating the perfect Sourdough

Written by Kelvin Ellam
Step 1
Mix 10g flour and 10ml water, stir them together until they make a paste and leave covered in a warm place overnight.

Step 2
The next day, add another 10g flour and 10ml water and leave again overnight. Repeat this process on days three, four (by which point the mixture should be bubbling) and five to create your 'starter'.

Step 3
By the sixth day you should have 100g of your 'starter'. Add another 100g flour and 100ml water, to give a total 300g weight.

Step 4
Although you now have a useable 'starter', it is not very strong. Therefore you now need to strengthen the starter. On day 6 remove 200g of the mixture, and replace this with 100g of flour and 100g water. Repeating this process every day for two weeks will build your starter up and create the 'mother' for your future sourdough loaves.

Step 5
The 'mother' can be kept in the fridge and is now ready for use. You can continue to use your 'mother' indefinitely. Whenever you want to use it, simply remove and replace 200g from the flour as usual, but do not throw the 200g away.

Step 6
Instead, take the 200g from your 'mother' and add it to 500g flour, 300g water and 10g of salt. This is now ready to create your dough.

Step 7
Knead the flour, salt, water and 200g of 'mother', for 10 minutes until it forms a firm dough.

Step 8
Leave your dough to rise for four hours, creating a gentle book fold in the dough every hour. Split the dough into two 500g halves and leave each half to rest for 30 minutes.

Step 9
Gently do a final shape of the two halves into rounds and leave them to prove in a container under a cover for a further 3 to 6 hours.

Step 10
Bake the loaves on a pizza stone or baking tray 230C, reducing the temperature after 20 minutes to 210C and leaving for another 15 minutes. Cool the loaf to set the crust.

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